DALWORTHINGTON GARDENS (CBS11) - Dalworthington Gardens Chief of Public Safety Bill Waybourn is planning to help military personnel in the U.S. protect themselves by giving them free concealed handgun license training. The move comes after recent attacks on military personnel revealed their vulnerability.
"Here you had people sitting there doing our business as a country and they're sitting ducks," Waybourn said. "That old adage of shooting fish in a barrel? They are truly a soft target."
Waybourn said he was deeply troubled by the shootings in Tennessee that left five service members dead. He was even more troubled when he met a soldier at a local recruiting station days later and glanced at his medals.
"I could see that there was a bronze star with a V for valor," Waybourn recalled. "This was a seasoned American hero and he can't sit there and protect himself? I think that is a tragedy of America right there. I don't think that is something that we are going to stand for in Texas."
Waybourn planned a seminar with American sniper Chris Kyle before his murder to offer free concealed handgun training to teachers.
Now, following that training idea, Waybourn says he'll use donations and volunteers to offer free concealed carry training for up to 600 service members and their spouses.
Where military members can carry a handgun on duty is up to the person's commander. But Waybourn says a concealed firearm could give military families peace of mind.
"At Least when our people are out in public and they're walking around proudly in the uniform, which I hope they do, they will, number one, understand what the law is and two, be able to arm themselves," Waybourn said.
But, some think there have to be assurances before the training that veterans aren't suffering from post traumatic stress -- or at least that they're undergoing treatment if they do have mental issues.
"If they're going to do it that way then they should know that those military guys are doing that," said Domenik Darden who's uncle suffered PTSD after returning from war duty. "Not just give it to them knowing that they've been over there and served and they have those problems now."
Chief Waybourn agrees. He said he plans on having medical and veterans groups reaching out to military members at the training seminar on August 22.
(©2015 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
for more features.